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Snoring can cause impairments – no kidding

Submitted by on Saturday, 4 April 2009 No Comment

img_1297Add another item to your running list of “reasons I fear my child will grow up to be a serial killer.”

A new study from Finland indicates that young children who snore have more problems with depression and anxiety, as well as impaired language and attention skills, newswise.com says.

According to an abstract of the research, conducted at Helsinki University Central Hospital, 89 children ages 3 to 6 were studied.  More than half – 46 – were snorers. That’s way above the snoring rate of around 10 percent that other research has found.

The researchers found that twice as many snorers’ parents reported that their children showed signs of anxiety or depression – though, interestingly enough, the snorers weren’t more aggressive than the blissful slumberers.

The reason should be obvious: They’re too dang tired to mess with other kids. Offer does not apply to their parents.

I don’t want to dismiss anyone’s research without having read the full report – it’s unavailable online except for a fee, and I blew the budget today on kiddie Breathe-Right strips so I couldn’t splurge again – but to me the connection seems so clear I wonder why the scientists are calling for further study.

Snoring equals disrupted sleep equals a mountain of other problems sleep deprivation causes. Anyone who needs a refresher in the nature of these problems should volunteer to babysit a toddler who missed his nap.

And for a kid not old enough to main line French roast – though I’m beginning to think 6 is the appropriate age to start serving espresso – the margin of error between restorative slumber and sleep-deprived and cranky is razor thin.

With the guys, it’s about a half hour. If they’re up late or wake early, someone’s going to pay at some point during the day.

They both also snore occasionally, though they seldom reach the twice-a-week level that triggered the Fins to classify a kid as a snorer. With Big Guy, it’s due to allergy-induced stuffiness. With Boots, it’s because his tonsils are the size of the Super Dome. His adenoids probably are, too, if anyone could get a good look. At his age, though, local surgeons won’t even consider him as a patient.

And, yes, on the mornings after the nights when they’re peeling the plaster off the ceiling there is a noticeable deterioration in behavior.

I don’t think that means they’re destined to a lifetime of mental anguish. Check back with me in 20 years, though, and see if I’m living in a homeless shelter after selling my house to make bail.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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